Who are you?
Name is Romel, I go by the randomest form of nicknames. PlaytheGame is one, People started calling me AYoungOldMan jokingly in college because I was into just a bunch of stuff, I mean I still am into a bunch of stuff but it's a lot of older stuff. And specifically because I dislike A LOT of people *laughs* for very legit reasons. So people just kind of took all that and was like "you're like an old man" so that's how that happened. I'm from Queens, NY born and raised, I'm 22.
When did you first realize you wanted to start making mixes?
There's two parts to this. Back when I was in middle school is when I first downloaded Virtual DJ, so like 8th grade going into high school. I was really into Daft Punk at the time and I was just really amazed by what they were, as just artists. They were also DJ's at the same time, so I remember downloaded virtual DJ to make sense of how that all worked, I started mixing tracks together and stuff like that, it was super tight then it kind of died out as time went on. Then I remember being at a party and I remember Ody, You know Ody right?! I remember being at Vickys Birthday in like 2013, I remember she was DJ'ing and playing all these dope tracks I've never heard of, a whole bunch of electronic dubstep stuff, I remember thinking "this is wild". I remember being in the radio station because I was doing college radio at my other school and I sat down and downloaded a bunch of tracks and figured it out through Virtual Dj like I did when I was 13 and it really was that moment where I was like, this is dope and I wanna do this for fun and make something out of this!
Do you recall the first mix you made, the name and when it was made?
Damn, I think the first mix I made that I can remember that ever went up was the first first Fresh Prince Mix, I don't remember if there was one before that or if it was the first one, but I think it was. And it was October 2014, No it wasn't! It was October 2013. Damn, that was awhile!
Tell me about the website you just started!
So right after I graduated college, like I had this idea before I graduated college but once I graduated it was like, I need something to do! I wasn't sure if I w was gonna have a job yet, my internship was still on at Power 105 but at the time I wasn't sure about anything. I knew I neededto keep sharp, I need to have something to do. Also people in general with creative spaces are always asked "Oh what's your website?" and It is kind of embarrassing if you don't have one so there was multiple reasons why. I took the nickname everyone had jokingly called me and turned it into a website where I get to talk about music that I care about and also to the names point, I talk about old music and new music too. And the new music reviews I reference old music, it's kind of like a place where I get to talk about music in a way that I want to and have always wanted to talk about it. I use to do reviews and interviews for a couple websites when I was a little younger and I never liked having to like, people always wanted to try and get me to be just like complex magazine and what not. So having this is just a really awesome creative outlet. It was just something I can enjoy and not think too much about it, write what I want how I want like "Hey, here's this new song! Here's why I think it's dope! Here's why you should check it out!, I'm only gonna review good songs but here's what's wrong with it but also here's what it reminds me of!"
I peeped you're involved with Jay Z and the Tidal staff how'd that come into play?
I didn't know that was happening until the video came out! So my last day with my internship at Power 105 I was working under Angie Martinez for her show and she pulled me into a room and she was just like "yo this jobs available here's what you gotta do, do you want it before I put your name in there?" and then two weeks later I was hired. I started that last bit of june, so yeah I work for Tidal. They put everyone in their content and creations marketing, everyone in the near up or on a certain floor, that was dope nobody knew it was happening except one person so everyone freaked out. It was like oh sh*t we're in a Jay Z video technically.
Where do you aspire to be soon?
I'm not trying to work at 30 at all. I think that's really where my mind is at, i'm not trying to work at 30 or be in an office like I am now, stressed out about things that ultimately are important and not to put down streaming services or whatever but they're not important in the grand scheme of things. I just wanna be well paid and probably live in the mountains somewhere but also have a place in the city but listen to music all day, be able to turn up in the process of that. Nothing major.
I really enjoy what you're doing with the site in what other ways do you feel you might be inspiring or putting on for the youth?
Just being able to live in multiple spaces is something that I'm definitely doing that is hard to do. I'm in a corporate space with corporate space but I'm still invited to and allowed to be at all these like knish parties and stuff like that. Usually people live in one space or the other. So there's very little that gets done in reality, it's hard for people to live both lives and I think that's cool that I get to live both lives. I get to work at a place that a lot of people that come from that tumblr time don't ever get to venture into either because they're not old enough or just never gotten the break to. So I think it's dope I'm one of the very few of the young people that work and get their voice heard and it's difficult right now because i'm very new so no one really gives a sh*t what I have to say but two years from now i'll be 24 and still young, and have a voice in these spaces. And i'm cool with OG's like I was on the phone with a DJ the other day, really popular DJ and we're just on the phone choppin it up. Like I'm 22 these are people who are OG's they're gonna help me meet people and be involved with people at a very young age. Which means I get to make changes and be a part ofsomething and create thing at a very young age where it still impacts people like you, people like myself, people who just are on twitter, tumblr who don't get the voice to say stuff, like that's what I'm working towards!
Who would you say are your greatest influences?
My influences, definitely, not inspired more so by what he says but business moves Charlemagne the God is someone I'm inspired by. A lot of sports people too but I'd say Charlemagne, Jay Z are my top 2. Jay Z for obvious reasons but Charlemagne coming from where he came from, coming from being kind of like a creep *laughs* and seeing how he turned. Turned like, seeing how he lives in multiple phases like he's always working, always busy, always promoting, always just getting better, Always just talking about being yourself, I think that's really important, to have honest people like that in the culture who don't just agree with everything. Just seeing how he just moves and it's really dope.
How do you feel the youth could do better at uplifting one another?
I feel we need to stop making big deals out of little things and start making bigger deals about things that actually matter. Everyone trying to outdo each other one the my life sucks, my life is horrible tidbit. No one gets anywhere, people are depressed it happens, people go through things, it happens but this whole I hate my life, my life sucks and everyone trying to one up each other it's just like how does that help anyone? How does anyone grow? If you're just trying to outdepress each other then you're not doing anything to get better which means you're not doing anything productive, which means nothing is happening. Supporting other people as well. Like it doesn't mean you have to go out and go hard to promote their stuff, but something small like Retweet it, send words of encouragement, those things matter. Like I'm sure when people put things out and they get a Retweet it makes them feel good, and it makes you wanna keep going. We need more people to stop hating or on some "this is wack, I can do it better" well if you can do it better, then do it better but if you're not gonna put out another product then stop hating and support it!
Is there anything you're working on you wanna mention or some advice before we close off this interview?
Yeah, so I'm in the process of working and learning more on audio engineering, Fortunately I get to be in a studio every other week due to the nature of my job at Tidal and the podcast, what not. So I'm actually at a studio that has all these platinum's hung up, Pro Era was just in there a couple days ago and I've always wanted to learn more about producing music but before you need to get into the technical side of how it should actually sound, so I'm learning more about audio engineering. So in 3 years, if you randomly start finding that I produce a track or i''m with an engineer on a track, don't be surprised ! I look at it as I've always done everything I've wanted to do even if it wasn't the time that I wanted to do it. I wanted to do this years ago but now I feel like this is the right time to do it and if I can give any advice its just keep going honestly. Keep going, not everything will happen at the moment you wanted to but you shouldn't stress out. Being disappointed is natural but don't stress it, find something else to be productive and you'd be surprised how it circles back at a more reasonable time, Like 3 years ago wasn't the right time for me, life was a different game I wasn't mature enough, I wasn't working In the space that encouraged that, I was like a freshman in college and it was difficult. But now as an adult around actual professionals, people in school who knew about it see that now I'm in the right state to learn. Be patient.